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Outstanding Apologetic Issues


Nofear

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What are some of the questions you just wish you knew? Questions for which curiosity still pleas for an answer even though the question has no relevance at all to one's eternal salvation.

I am most interested in questions that might conceivably be answered by some apologist or another someday (e.g. "Where is Zarahemla?" as opposed to "When is Christ returning?").

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Compiled List So Far

  • Scriptures
    • KJV language in the Book of Mormon
    • JST variations (e.g. Book of Mormon / D&C quotes Bible language but JST changes it)
    • Book of Abraham translation process

    [*]Church History / Social Issues

    • Polygamy - social benefits?
    • Priesthood ban's origin (divine or human)
  • Book of Mormon Geography
    • NY Hill Cumorah site of last battle?
    • Geographical scope of Nephite political sphere
    • Location of specific sites

    [*]Evolution

    • role with respect to Adam and Eve
    • role with respect to rest of life
    • role with respect to other worlds and/or spiritual creation
  • Prophets
    • why ambiguous from time to time
    • function/exercise of Seership - lacking today?

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Why does the Book of Mormon quote from the King James Version of the New Testament?

Even further... Why does the BoM quote from the KJV Bible even when JS later changed the the KJV via a JST but didn't change the same verse in the BoM??

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Yeah, questions just like that. Thanks.

PS: I take it then you reject the arguments made by those cited here -- the FAIR page on the question?

Reject may be too strong a word.

I know that there are others who find such arguments satisfying, but for me, they really don't answer the question.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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What are some of the questions you just wish you knew? Questions for which curiosity still pleas for an answer even though the question has no relevance at all to one's eternal salvation.

I am most interested in questions that might conceivably be answered by some apologist or another someday (e.g. "Where is Zarahemla?" as opposed to "When is Christ returning?").

Are you merely looking for a list, or do you want discussion pro and con on the individual items? If it's the latter, I can foresee the thread very quickly becoming unwieldy.

I already note a couple of the suggestions that, for me, are not at all problematical, namely Book of Mormon passages identical to the King James Bible and the alleged impossibility of seeing anything good that came out of plural marriage.

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Even further... Why does the BoM quote from the KJV Bible even when JS later changed the the KJV via a JST but didn't change the same verse in the BoM??

Depends on what the nature of the JST is. I don't believe it was meant to revert the text to the oniginal. More like a midrash style commentary after receiving explainations from the Lord. Its not exactly up there in vexing me.

What vexes me is why though LDS proceedure is correct, the execution seems uninpired. The rumors that your new name comes off a list for that day. I believe in that process but it seems uninpired. And other things like that. Like the choice of the next prophet seems automatic, why is it like that? If only it was slighty more like dice than a calculator... But that's me.

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Depends on what the nature of the JST is. I don't believe it was meant to revert the text to the oniginal. More like a midrash style commentary after receiving explainations from the Lord. Its not exactly up there in vexing me.

I agree. I view the JST as a (mostly) inspired Targum.

As for the Book of Mormon, I'm currently quite interested in elements of Ostler's Expansion Theory. (with the 2005 update.)

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Depends on what the nature of the JST is. I don't believe it was meant to revert the text to the oniginal. More like a midrash style commentary after receiving explainations from the Lord. Its not exactly up there in vexing me.

And when all is said and done, isn't this really the crux of the matter? Once one accepts the idea that God ultimately is the author of all scripture, and once one realizes the implications flowing therefrom, similarity between, say, the Book of Mormon text and that of the King James Bible ceases to be a problem.

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Are you merely looking for a list, or do you want discussion pro and con on the individual items? If it's the latter, I can foresee the thread very quickly becoming unwieldy.

I already note a couple of the suggestions that, for me, are not at all problematical, namely Book of Mormon passages identical to the King James Bible and the alleged impossibility of seeing anything good that came out of plural marriage.

Just a list. I expect to mostly see things that I don't have any issue with (like KJV language and polygamy), but knowing what others think is problematic can be useful. And, maybe just maybe, somebody will list something I'm not aware of and my curiosity will be sparked. Or better yet, maybe somebody will take up an outstanding question and formulate and publish a new and novel response.

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Personally I think such lists are highly subjective. What may be problematic for one is entirely uninteresting for another. For example there are those who remain firmly convinced the earth is ~6,000 years old and view all arguments against such a position as asked and answered. While for many others the arguments against a young earth are overpowering. How we evaluate the evidences for and against a given position is complex and dependent on many different factors like upbringing and education as such I am doubtful a consensus can be reached. What may be convincing to you or me may not be at all convincing to someone else.

To take another example critics frequently target polygamy. I certainly understand how a person could find Nauvoo style polygamy to be problematic but for me personally I don't have much of an issue with it. On the other hand one of my biggest hangups with the LDS church is the strong undercurrents of religious exclusivism i.e.(one true church, only church with authority etc. ) and along with this the unreliability of personal spiritual experiences in teaching universal objective truth.

All the Best,

Uncertain

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Even further... Why does the BoM quote from the KJV Bible even when JS later changed the the KJV via a JST but didn't change the same verse in the BoM??

KJV

"be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves"

JST (NT, p. 19)

"be ye therefore wise servants and as harmless as doves "

Is the change inspired? Serpents are not wise so this seems cool at first.

But then in D&C we are back to

"Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents "

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MACRO: Why is there not a shred of empirical evidence for the existence of God?

MICRO: Why is it impossible to find anything good that came out of polygamy?

I take offense....being a ggg-grandson of Parley Pratt, I would like to think that something good did come out of polygamywink.gif

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KJV

"be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves"

JST (NT, p. 19)

"be ye therefore wise servants and as harmless as doves "

Is the change inspired? Serpents are not wise so this seems cool at first.

But then in D&C we are back to

"Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents "

See above.

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Interesting... if you 'd asked me twenty or thirty years ago, I could have come up with a list of outstanding apologetic issues. Nowadays, I find myself in a comfortable equilibrium. Many of the essays I've written came about because I had open issues to which I had found resolutions. My essays and presentations range over a wide range of questions and issues. And readings have been much wider, and hold much gratitude for others of greater skill and insight and inspiration who have asked more questions and offered more solutions. It's not that I think I have all the answers... It's that I have answers that are important and satisfying to me. (See Nibley's The Terrible Questions, for example.) The open questions I have don't seem nearly as important.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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Is the change inspired? Serpents are not wise so this seems cool at first.

A serpent is wily. I understand this as wise in the sense of street wise. That is, understand the thinking of your enemy so you can have the advantage in protecting yourself and others against him.

For "harmless," an alternate translation from the Greek is "guileless," so the passage makes sense in a poetic sort of way, it being a paradox.

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MACRO: Why is there not a shred of empirical evidence for the existence of God?

First of all there is, and its not convincing to everyone because the vast majority of us are to live by faith during this life.
MICRO: Why is it impossible to find anything good that came out of polygamy?
My mother's family and I came out of polygamy.

Most of the leadership of the Church came out of polygamy. It was a hard principle to live, and those who did so came to an understanding of selflessness that has blessed their families and the Church ever since.

The Church's close-knit community spirit and successful assimilation of different cultures may have come out of polygamy.

Changing the popular criticism of the Church from revelation, which we could not repudiate, to polygamy - which we could - may have saved the Church in the 19th century.

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Suppose that for one conference talk, President Monson chose to devote his time to speaking (as a Prophet) on subjects that aren't essential to salvation but are of great interest to many members of the Church. These are the subjects I would like him to discuss with specificity and authority:

1. Book of Mormon geography and scope (including the presence of "others" and whether or not the NY drumlin is the Cumorah at which the final Nephite/Lamanite battle was fought).

2. The origin of the Book of Abraham, and its means of translation

3. The origin of the Priesthood ban

4. The role that evolution and natural selection played in the creation process of the Earth, including the formation of Adam's physical body.

It would be great if this information were received by revelation, and President Monson explained at the beginning of his talk that this was the case; these aren't his words or ideas, they are the Lord's. Then, after his talk, President Eyring (who is conducting that session) asks the Q12 to sustain his words as the mind and will of the Lord and official doctrine of the Church, then he ask the 70s, and then the general Church membership to accept them as such.

I take offense....being a ggg-grandson of Parley Pratt, I would like to think that something good did come out of polygamywink.gif

That's the most common justification; I've seen teachers or speakers ask for everyone in the room who is descended from polygamist marriages to please stand, and then we're supposed to be impressed by the number of modern LDS who are so descended.

But that same argument could be applied to any sort of dubious arrangement that produced offspring, from slavery to arranged marriages to incest and even rape. A great many people alive today might have such things in their family tree, but that doesn't justify them.

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Like the choice of the next prophet seems automatic, why is it like that? If only it was slighty more like dice than a calculator... But that's me.

What determines who is the next prophet?

When an apostle was called and when the current prophet dies.

Who determines when an apostle was called and when a prophet dies?

I'll give you a hint - it's the same person.

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